"To move the work is to destroy the work." ~ Richard Serra

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Sphere

The Sphere, by Fritz Koenig, is displayed in Battery Park in New York City. Originally it decorated the fountain in front of the World Trade Center Plaza. This piece holds a lot of symbolism and meaning not only because of its site specificity but because of the situation it represents. Its original form is battered, changed from what it used to be due to the impact it went through due to the 9/11. It is a 45,000 pound sphere made of bronze and steel. This piece distinctly represents how site and situation affect the meaning of a piece of art. Originally placed by the World Trade Center, many would simply walk by it without acknowledgement. Due to its new location it stands as a memorial for those lost in the 9/11 attack because it represents the destruction and a fraction of what was damaged and lost. By moving it away from its initial setting, it is viewed and interpreted as something else. No longer is it a decoration but a metallic sphere that is proof that what happened is reality. It gained its memorial status because of its original site and by being moved to another, it certified it. What is most important is this sphere is recognized and determined by the situation. When it used to be just a decoration, it barely got a response or reaction from the crowds. If anything there may have been some awe from some tourists due to its massiveness. Now it makes people shed tears, contemplate life, feel sorrow and remorse. A situation changed its meaning. This sphere also creates numerous situations. This may simply be from provoking emotion, giving people a place for peace and thought, or just serving as a reminder to cherish life. It is clear cut that in this case art was created by a situation, it came into existance because it gained a reaction, however negative and depressing that reaction may be.

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